Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ON BLOGGING ~ Suggestion Box...

Edition #26

Thirteen Things about THE BUMBLES -
and the ideas we have for our blog...

We've been at this for about 6 months now and don't want to get stuck in a rut - nothing's worse than a boring Bumble don't you know. So we're throwing some thoughts out there and looking to you for advice. Now's your big chance to let us know what you love, what you hate, and what we really should have figured out ourselves by now.

1. Less Memes? Now don't worry - we would never abandon Thursday 13! But sometimes we wonder if a meme a day keeps the readers away. Should we cut back altogether? Stay involved but do them less frequently?

2. Share More? Less memes would allow more time for us to share personal stories about ourselves with you - like yesterday's post about a disturbing development with Andy's upper lip. Although sometimes sharing more can lead to Too Much Information.

3. More Posts? Maybe you like to visit us through all these memes but wish there was more interesting original writing going on to give you a reason to visit on non-meme days? Do you want to work us to the bone and read double the posts? Could we even manage it? Brainstorm posts like this don't just write themselves you know.

4. Put That Teaching Degree To Use? We could sprinkle in more posts with tips on whatever it is that we learn - which isn't always that exciting. We've helped explain to random bloggers out there on comment threads how to make a strikethrough or underline in their posts and could save everyone the trouble and just post it here. Or should we leave that to the experts and focus on things such as building backyard ice rinks?

5. Focus! Speaking of focus, do we cover too much stuff here? Do the ever changing topics from Movies to Books to Music to Sports, etc. make you dizzy? Do you wish we'd just make up our minds and become a niche blog? Or do you like being surprised? Picking one would show farily quickly how little we really know about any one thing but the quality of our minimal knowledge would be awesome.

6. Enough About Us? Should we feature Guests? Since we have such little knowledge, why not find people who bring something to the table and give them a forum every now and then? Like yourself for example. Plus, we'd have more time to watch baseball if someone was guest posting.

7. Contests? But however would we pick someone to share knowledge when there are so many great choices amongst you all out there? Could a writing contest help to decide? We certainly don't have any spare Red Sox tickets lying around to give away and we get all our books from the library so any winners would have to be happy with pure public recognition via guest posting and a virtual pat on the back. Do cheapskate giveaways really work?

8. More Reviews? Molly does all her detailed book reviewing on Goodreads and Andy only seems to share his opinions on music and concerts in person. But would reviews be interesting every now and then? Maybe only review the things that suck?

9. Less Posts? Is daily posting too much for you to keep track of? Are you suffering from Bumbles overload? This would be another way for us to catch up on watching baseball.

10. New Topic? We've got some vacations planned this summer and fall. Would you care to know how things go in our travels? Should we post a travel journal? Should we solicit opinions about what we should do on our trips? Do you want to learn vicariously through us and let us be your travel guinea pigs?

11. Polls? We could post Reader Polls - if we figure out how those particular widgets or gadgets work. You could let us know which site to see on vacation, or which book to read next, or which movie to rent, or which font to use. But if no one voted wouldn't that reflect poorly on The Bumbles? Could we handle the rejection?

12. Visual Changes? Do we need to make your surroundings while you're here more attractive for you? Do you cringe whenever you look at something on our page? Or maybe you never even notice the page beyond the words and don't see the dust bunnies. And since this is all about suggestions, could someone suggest a way for us to do something about our header? We think it leaves room for improvement but don't know how to go about it.

13. YOU! Enough about our ideas. This is a Suggestion Box after all. Drop your suggestion in the Comments below and let us know your ideas - because although we will never stop talking about sports on this blog, we would like to talk about things that interest you every now and then too!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is not only encouraged, it is part of being a Thursday Thirteener! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!


Janet said...

I think you should blog about what makes you happy!

storyteller said...

I'm with Janet. Blogging whatever appeals to you makes the most sense to me ... and reminds me that my dad always told me that when I was happy, he was happy too ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Betty said...

I agree with Janet and storyteller, the whole point of having a personal blog is to have a place where you can write whatever you feel like writing. Go ahead and blog whatever makes you happy.

Carrie said...

I know that in my blog, I do what the other commenters have said...I just blog about whatever I feel like mentioning at the time. I tend to do lots of book reviews, and I also explain what's going on in our lives. And then there are the random ramblings that probably don't fit in any category. :)

My 13 is up:

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

Oh, you shouldn't leave T13! I once left and missed my Thursday blog buddies! :-)

About the blogging changes, do what you feel will be good for your blog and it won't hurt to ask your readers what they want as well. All the best!

Sandy Nawrot said...

OK! I'm going to earnestly give feedback. You rock by the way, having only been blogging for 6 months. I don't necessarily think you have to post every day, I don't think you necessarily need giveaways or contests(there are so many!). Tips would be fun once in awhile. I would LOVE to hear Molly's reviews on here...I am not going to track them down on Goodreads. I love it when you "share" - Molly's childhood story has got me hooked. I would love to read about your travels too! I think you could merge your "Where are you" and "Tuesday Teaser" memes into one post (I've seen others do this), as it is usually on the same book. Visually, I think your blog is great. I also love your memes...please don't get rid of any of them!

DrillerAA said...

Great list. We all go through a phase of pondering where we should take the blog next. But, as others have said, you have to write what makes you happy, and what makes you want to continue posting.
HappY T13!

The Bumbles said...

To clarify - we will always blog about what we want because otherwise what would be the point? But all of the above items are things that would make us happy and at one point or another we'll probably try them all out. We just wanted to know if any of these ideas sounded more enjoyable to you than others. So don't be afraid to let us know. Thanks for the kind words :0)

Paige Tyler said...

I think your blog is great just as it is!


My TT is at

Jen said...

I try to blog about whatever, whenever. Some days I'll post five times, and then I might go a couple days without posting anything. I think variety is most interesting, though.

shopannies said...

I call my blog my home on the internet and I think you should do what makes you comfortable like it is your home

colleen said...

I like a mix of all of the above. What you find interesting others usually do too.

Daisy said...

I like blogs with lots of posts and information, but above all else remember it is your blog. Blogging is personal and you should do it to your specifications and no one else's. Happy Thursday!

Thursday 13 - edition 5
Laundry love...and hate

Brenda ND said...

I think your blog is fun as it is. And I bet whatever changes you decide to make will be good too.

cardiogirl said...

Howdy! Here are my thoughts:

I am not a meme kinda gal. It doesn't really do it for me and I participate sparingly. I can't tell you why that is, but it is. So my vote is for fewer memes per week. Maybe once a week.

I really enjoy personal stories. I like to meet the blogger and hear about his or her life.
After a while, you start to get to know the players in that person's life and then you know that Cranky Pants is the neighbor three doors down who frequently sits in a lawn chair on porch screaming at butterflies.

I like to hear about Cranky Pants every so often. Is he still screaming at just the orange butterflies or is including the blue ones now?

I like tips and tricks, you cannot have enough. They're interesting, too.

New topics/travel sounds like fun. I like the idea of a personal account of your trip, things that would be useful next time I find myself heading to the Bahamas.

Perhaps you will find that extra ziplock bags in your suit case will be useful when packing up to come home. Maybe ziplock bags are not sold in the Bahamas. That's not something you'll find in most travel books, but it's still interesting and useful in my opinion.

I find the width of your text to be a bit wide and the sidebar is a tad busy.

I would guess the width of your text is about eight inches. I think four to five inches would be easier to follow.

I am a fan of white space however, so take that into consideration.

Perhaps some of the sidebar stuff could go on a separate page to clear up the sidebar.

The length of your web page is super long, also.

The Bloggers Taking the Time to Visit Us... section is the entire width of the site and completely on the bottom. That might do better on its own page.

Lastly, is there anyway to change the comment section so you can click to leave a comment yet still be able to scroll up to read the post.

Currently I have to have two windows open -- the original post and the comment page. I have to click to the post to answer these questions and that feels a tad clunky.

I hope I haven't been too pushy. Those are just the things that spoke to me.

The Bumbles said...

Thanks Cardiogirl and Sandy for the detailed input. We especially appreciate the visual design thoughts as that is something we've been playing around with. Some of the suggestions are difficult to do in the Blogger format though. You can always view the full post in the Comments section though by clicking on Show Original Post at the top of the Comments. I prefer that myself.

stacybuckeye said...

Love your blog! I think memes are hard. I like participating, but want to have room for original posts too. I love the variety of topics you cover and would love to read about your travels! I always do a post when we get back from somewhere fun. Keep up the good work :)

Cathy said...

Good idea for a Thursday 13. I'm often wondering what I should do for my own blog; My topics are also all across the board, and I can never decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm not a regular reader of your blog (got in through the Thursday 13 page) but I like the book-related stuff (I loved Devil in the White City) and I'm always up for hearing about travel.

I also think "The Bumbles" is inspired. Bumble was always one of my favorite Rudolph characters.

Read my Thursday 13 at

All Rileyed Up said...

I've pondered this question so many times and all your ideas are great ideas for posts, but when it comes down to it, I think you just write whatever comes to mind. Which may mean everything on your list from time to time. I also post dialogue from my dogs from time to time. People like posts about pets, it seems.

jehara said...

i, for one, think it would be awesome if you wrote about your travels. i love traveling and reading about travels. :)

Thorne said...

MooOOOoore Building Skating Rinks n like that! That's the post that made Thornie fall for the Bumbles! More fun and foolishness!